Pulmonary Fibrosis

About Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

According to the National Institutes of Health, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a condition in which over a period of time the lung tissue becomes thickened, stiff, and scarred. The development of the scar tissue is called fibrosis. As the lung tissue becomes scarred and thicker, the lungs lose their ability to transfer oxygen into the bloodstream. As a result, the brain and other organs don't receive the oxygen they need. In some cases, doctors can determine the cause of the fibrosis, but in most cases, there is not a known cause. When there is no known etiology for the fibrosis (and certain pathologic criteria are met) the disease is called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, or IPF. IPF affects approximately 200,000 individuals in the US, and the annual mortality is estimated to be 40,000.

At present there are no FDA-approved medical therapies.